Videocon loans fraud case: ICICI Bank grants CBI sanction to prosecute Chanda Kochhar | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Videocon loans fraud case: ICICI Bank grants CBI sanction to prosecute Chanda Kochhar

By, Mumbai
Jun 08, 2023 01:26 AM IST

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday informed a special court that ICICI Bank had granted the agency sanction to prosecute its former managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in granting loans to six of Videocon Group firms promoted by Venugopal Dhoot.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday informed a special court that ICICI Bank had granted the agency sanction to prosecute its former managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar in connection with a case of alleged irregularities in granting loans to six of Videocon Group firms promoted by Venugopal Dhoot.

Chanda Kochchar, managing director and CEO of ICICI, photographed at her office in Mumbai on January 2, 2013. Photograph: ABHIJIT BHATLEKAR/MINT
Chanda Kochchar, managing director and CEO of ICICI, photographed at her office in Mumbai on January 2, 2013. Photograph: ABHIJIT BHATLEKAR/MINT

The bank’s board of directors had sent a resolution dated April 22 to the agency, prosecutor A Lemozine told special CBI court judge S P Naik-Nimbalkar and added that he wanted to incorporate the sanction in the chargesheet recently filed in the case. The CBI received the resolution on May 15, officers said.

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A CBI officer said the board had accepted that “there appears to be some quid pro quo” in approving loans to the Videocon Group firms but pointed out that no loss had been caused to the bank on account of the credit facilities.

The CBI had in January 2019 registered a case to probe the alleged irregularities in granting rupee term loans (RTLs) of 1,875 crore to the six firms when Kochhar was the bank’s MD and CEO. The agency had said that the loan amount was reduced to 1,730 crore after restructuring, and an amount of 1,033 crore was still outstanding.

Kochhar was on the loan committee of the bank when two of the loans were approved - RTL of 300 crore to M/s Videocon International Electronics Limited (VIEL) and RTL of 750 crore to M/s Videocon Industries Limited (VIL), the agency had said. Besides, the bank had released the security available in the form of fixed deposit receipts of 50 crore into the accounts of other group entities - M/s Sky Appliance Limited and M/s Techno Electronic Limited - without any justification, the agency added.

The CBI claimed that after the loan of 300 crore was given to VIEL, 64 crore was received by her husband, Deepak Kochhar, as a kickback. It is also probing the transfer of a flat in Mumbai, valued around 5.25 crore (in 1996), to the family trust of Kochhars.

“The flat was under litigation for possession between VIL and Deepak Kochhar. Subsequently, the flat was transferred to Quality Advisor, a family trust of Deepak Kochhar, at a meagre amount of 11 lakh in 2016,” the CBI had said in its plea seeking remand of the couple.

The CBI had arrested Kochhars on December 23, 2022, in Delhi. The Bombay high court granted them bail on January 9, stating that their arrest was not made as per legal mandate.

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